Australian Open Super Series: Kidambi Srikanth defeats China's Shi

Nettie James
June 25, 2017

India's Kidambi Srikanth blew away China's Shi Yuqi with a "dream" performance to set up an Australian Open final against Olympic champion Chen Long on Saturday.

Srikanth is looking to become only the second Indian to win the Australian Open after ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won in 2014 and 2016.

Srikanth, who was in his third quarter-finals in the last five tournaments that he has participated in, made it to the semi-finals with a 25-23, 21-17 win in a match that lasted for 43 minutes.

Shi could pull back just one point before Srikanth sealed the game 21-10.

Srikanth will play either reigning Olympic champion and two-time World champion and All England champion Chen Long or Korea's Lee Hyun II in the finals.

Generally known for his attacking gameplay, Srikanth surprised the world No.4 with his patience and lovely net play. The score was tied at 6-6 before Srikanth stretched his lead to 11-8.

The only Indian left in the competition, Srikanth has been on a role this year. Srikanth controlled the points from the front court - his net play being extremely deceptive as he often pushed Shi deep before unleashing his smashes.

The second game followed a similar pattern, with Srikanth leading 4-2, before Shi attempted a turn-around by winning three consecutive points - the highlight being a brilliant crosscourt shot that went beyond the net by inches - to take a lead at 5-4.

There were a few hiccups as Shi Yuqi tried to close the gap but Srikanth kept his cool to close out the game and with it the match.

In the first game, the scores at mid-way interval were 11-7, with Srikanth in lead. However, the difference turned out to be too much as Srikanth continued to force him to lose points through a range of flicks to lead 19-13.

Other reports by Insurance News

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